September 2004
Columns

Editorial Comment

A legend passes on. It would be unlikely for you not to have heard of the recent death of legendary oil well blowout specialist Paul N. “Red” Adair. But I know from traveling that what is widely reported in Houston may not be in the rest of the world. I met the man briefly in the early 1980s on an offshore job, where the wellhead had come out of the ground about six feet and rotated 90°. A quick-thinking driller saved the day by managing to get a chain on it while all hands scattered. I was a well-logger at the time. As it turned out, we never needed Red's services: the blowout stayed well into the subsurface at the parted casing. (But I did get a handful of his company stickers, which were better than money when needing help on a drill floor.) He seemed like a fine fellow.

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